Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has become the second youngest person ever to win Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year.

It’s been an important year for Zuckerberg; Facebook has grown to over 500 million users, the company is now said to be worth $33.7bn, the website even got the Hollywood treatment in the top box-office grossing film The Social Network.

At 26, Zuckerberg is one of America’s youngest self-made billionaires – the Harvard dropout’s net worth is a reported $6.9 billion. That doesn’t mean the money goes to head though, recently Zuckerberg showed his philanthropic side by pledging $100 million to Newark schools in September.

TIME Magazine chose Zuckerberg for helping to connect “more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them.”

TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel said:

“The social networking platform he invented … is the connective tissue for nearly a tenth of the planet.”

“Facebook is now the third-largest country on earth, and probably holds more information than any government about its citizens. Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout, is its T-shirt-wearing head-of-state.”

Zuckerberg’s competition for top spot as Time Magazines’s Person of the Year came from the Tea Party, a “loose affiliation of American citizens united by their dislike of big government”, Julian Assange – head of the Wikileaks organisation that released top-secret cables with the world, Hamid Karzai – elected leader of Afghanistan and the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for over 60 days.

Zuckerberg was appointed number one by Times editors and staff members.

Picture 670 Mark Zuckerberg Named Time Magazines 2010 Person of the Year